Because the underlying history of this case extends back nearly to the founding of the
United States of America and has been retold many times, the Court does not provide a recitation of the facts except as necessary in each Part
to contextualize and resolve the relevant issue. For an account of the history leading up to this case, and of this case itself, reference is made to theReport-Recommendation. See Report-Rec. at 5-14; see also Canadian St. Regis Band of Mohawk Indians v. New York (St. Regis IV), 146 F. Supp. 2d 170, 174-80 (N.D.N.Y. 2001). In short,Plaintiff tribes (“the Mohawks”) and Plaintiff-Intervenor the United States (“the United States”)
(collectively, “Plaintiffs”) are suing Defendants for title to and back rent, waste, and exploitation
damages for land Plaintiffs contend was conveyed out of their possession unlawfully between 168and 203 years ago. After numerous stays for settlement negotiation or pending resolution of
This case comprises three actions that were consolidated in August 1991. See Dkt. No.
101. For a brief description of each action, see Canadian St. Regis Band of Mohawk Indians v. NewYork (St. Regis IV), 146 F. Supp. 2d 170, 174-76 (N.D.N.Y. 2001).The Mohawks are: the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (“St. Regis Mohawks”); the Canadian St.
Regis Band of Mohawk Indians, now known as the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (“CanadianBand” or “Akwesasne Mohawks”); and the People of the Longhouse, who have joined the St. RegisMohawks on all papers filed herein. Akwesasne is the Mohawk name for the area on or around theSt. Regis Reservation, which covers territory in both Canada and the United States. See St. RegisIV, 146 F. Supp. 2d at 177. For purposes of this case, reference to the Mohawks as tribes “is amatter of convenience and not meant to imply or confer any legal significance on those groups.” Id.at 175 n.3.The United States intervened as of right in October 1998. Dkt. 166.
Defendants are: the Governor and State of New York; the New York Power Authority
(“NYPA”); counties and municipalities in the contested territory; private entities and individuals;and a defendant class as certified in Canadian St. Regis Band of Mohawk Indians v. New York, 97F.R.D. 453 (N.D.N.Y. 1983) (collectively, “Defendants”).Specifically, Plaintiffs’ claims involve roughly 12,000 acres of land in far upstate New
York (“original reservation claim”); three islands in the St. Lawrence River (“islands claim”);2
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